Monday, March 28, 2011

Signs of Spring

After an eternity of dark, cold, rainy, cloudy weather Portland is finally seeing some signs of spring.  It all started a couple of weeks ago on one of my Saturday long runs.  I noticed daffodils blooming in a few front yards.  At first my running partner and I thought the flowers were fake!  Then we noticed more and more of the pretty yellow flowers, and realized that they were indeed the real thing.

Daffodil blooms in my yard

One day I came home from work, and found daffodils blooming in my own front yard.  Definitely a good sign!

Flowers on the neighbor's willow tree

Then last week, all of the cherry trees began to bloom.  I couldn't go anywhere in town without seeing their lovely pink blossoms.  Sure helps to brighten up the dreary gray skies when you've got many brightly hued trees to look at!

Our flowering pear tree almost ready to bloom

Even though the cherry trees are in all-out flower mode, there are many more trees waiting to follow their lead.  I'm noticing lots of buds on all the trees.  Soon we'll see the bright green of new leaves covering up the bare branches of winter.  I'm looking forward to that.

Of course, all this blooming and flowering is wreaking havoc with my allergies.  This past week I've started to get the familiar itchy eyes, stuffy nose and scratchy throat.  Time to make friends with my bottle of Zyrtec!

A dove rests on our backyard fence

Another sign of spring - the return of the birds.  Roger loves to feed the wild birds.  He has several bird feeders hanging on trees in our backyard.  Lately we've noticed many more varieties of birds stopping for lunch.

A woodpecker getting his breakfast

Our favorite feathery visitors are the woodpeckers.  We've seen as many as three woodpeckers at a time getting meals from Roger's bird feeders.  Roger and I both love watching the woodpeckers.  They are beautiful birds and very entertaining to observe.  But the woodpeckers do cause a little trouble.  They like to get up on the roof of our house and peck at the side of our chimney!  It makes quite a racket.  We've woke up several weekend mornings to the sound of the woodpeckers drilling on our house.

You know it's spring when you see a robin

The sure-fire sign of spring - when you see the first robin.  We've been getting lots of these beautiful red-breasted birds in our backyard lately.

Our very own backyard ducks

Another sign of spring - when the ducks come back.

Many years ago, Roger built a small pond in our backyard.  Every spring, the pond attracted a few wild ducks.  Roger started putting out cracked corn for the ducks to eat.  Now each year, a male and female duck take up residence in our backyard pond.  They hang out in the pond all spring, and we always hope they'll make a nest in our backyard.  I would love to have some ducklings living in our pond.  But when it comes time for child-rearing, our ducky couple always goes someplace else. 

The Easter Bunny?  No, just Bob.

Spring is the season of Easter, and that means a visit from a certain bunny.  A bunny came to our house last week, but he wasn't the Easter Bunny.  It was Denise's pet Bob, home for Spring Break.

Denise and Bob the Bunny
Yes, it isn't spring without Spring Break.  Denise was happy for the week off from school.  She got caught up on laundry, TV shows, and sleep.  Bob was happy for a change of scenery (I think).  And Roger and I got to see our daughter.

Finally, it's not spring unless we get tons of rain.  And there's been plenty of that!  Of course, after living in Oregon over 20 years, I've come to realize that summer doesn't begin until the 4th of July (that's when it stops raining).  But the rain is what makes everything so nice and green, and causes the flowers to bloom.  Without rain, there would be no spring.

I'm enjoying all the signs of spring (even though my toes are getting mossy!)


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